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“As you can see, the demand for high quality charter schools remains strong.”

Those are the words of Dave Machado, director of the Office of Charter Schools for the state. What leads Machado to that statement? From the office’s December newsletter comes the facts about North Carolina’s empowered parents who choose public charter schools rather than the traditional public classroom.

  • 109,389 students are being served by our 185 charter schools
  • That represents 7.3% of the total public school population
  • 50% are female and 50% are male
  • 35 applicants to open a charter school are currently being reviewed by CSAB
  • 11 charter schools were considered for renewal in 2018,  28 schools in 2019
  • For the 5th consecutive year, the percentage of schools earning a D or F has decreased
  • The number of charter schools exceeding growth increased from 36 to 46 last year

Despite their popularity, the facts about North Carolina’s public charter schools are misunderstood. Some wrongly believe that charters, which are tuition-free, can pick and choose the kids they enroll. That’s false, as Dr. Terry Stoops points out in the John Locke Foundation’s Policy Solutions guide.

According to state law, charter schools may not limit admission to students based on intellectual ability, measures of achievement or aptitude, athletic ability, or disability. Likewise, admission may not be limited to students based on race, creed, national origin, religion, or ancestry. When applicants outnumber available seats, the school must initiate a lottery selection process, and only in certain circumstances may the school weigh the lottery to favor demographic groups.

As we approach National School Choice Week, which is next week, we’ll be helping you understand more about the key role schools of choice play in educating North Carolina’s kids.  

Join us Monday, Jan. 21 for this event, where we will celebrate empowering parents with the ability to choose the best education for their kids. Register here.

 

Donna Martinez / VP of Marketing and Communications

Donna came to the John Locke Foundation in January 2003 after freelance writing for Carolina Journal and contributing to projects for the North Carolina Education Alliance. He...

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